Copywriting to Sell


SEO copywriting is writing copy (text) with the
specific purpose of ulitizing that copy to target specific search
terms. Copywriting is writing copy with the specific purpose
of impressing the prospect, creating brand awareness
and ultimately affecting a sale. In this article we will focus
on ad copywriting; see SEO Copywriting for tips on copywriting
for search engine optimization.

1. Love it! Believe it!

The first copywriting I did was for a web design client who was
too lazy to write his own page copy. Fortunately, I loved the product.
I loved the prices. I loved the
people. I believed in the product, the people and their service.
When it came time to write copy,
that enthusiasm showed big time. That copy remains online today,
and has instilled trust in many of that client’s customers
and has resulted in over $2.5 million in annual Internet sales.

When you believe in the product, killer copywriting will come

2. Define it!

The copy must define the Unique
Selling Proposition
(USP) immediately.
Either it’s the best quality, the best price, the coolest,
the fastest, the biggest; the best in some way or another. The
prospect needs to know immediately that no other merchant can offer
the same product at the same prices.

3. Instill Trust

When you go to a business meeting, do you wear baggy jeans and
three days of growth on your face? No. Because you understand the
need to instill trust. A professional copywriter understands that
it doesn’t matter how absolutely fantastic the product is
– if the prospect doesn’t trust you he’ll go elsewhere.

Typos and bad grammar are perfect for dispelling trust. Outrageous
statements – “you, too can be a millionaire in 10 days” –
purposely misleading statements, and ranting about the evil nature
of your ex-wife should be avoided.

Co-brand to instill trust. If your product is sold at Home Depot,
say so and use the Home Depot logo. If your product uses Intel
microchips, say so. Use that Intel logo. Does your hosting company
use Dell Dual Xeon servers? Use that Dell logo.

4. Topic Headings – Paragraph Headings

Consumers don’t read – they scan. Use topic headings, paragraph
headings, bold text, italicized text, bold and italicized text,
and colored text to get your main points across.

5. Long Copy – Short Sentences, Short Paragraphs

Long copy is necessary to answer all questions. Communicate the features, the guarantee, the price and support. But break it up into small bite-size pieces. Too many run-on sentences will overwhelm the prospect.

6. Features Over Creativity

BlueBall Brand Computers

Conceptualize Reliability.

The dawn of
a new era.

Your muscle car on the information superhighway.

Buy one today.

Some people believe creativity
sells. It doesn’t. Features

BlueBall 3700 PC


3.0GHz Processor

160 GB, 7200RPM Hard Drive

Monitor & Wireless Keyword Included.

$750 While Supplies Last

Consumers shop around. They compare features. Creativity gets you
nowhere. Features sell.

7. Action Oriented Vocabulary

A freelance copywriter might offer intriguing copywriting. He’s
do better to offer compelling copywriting, forceful
or even killer copywriting.

Most copywriters tend to specialize in both killer copywriting
and compelling copywriting. Less creative copywriters have been
know to specialize in “professional copywriting”, “great
copywriting”, and even an occasional “power copywriting”.
Notice that none of these copywriters specialize in simply “copywriting”?

An action oriented vocabulary is necessary to convey your enthusiasm.
Would you rather I get your message out, or saturate the market?
Are you looking for increased sales? Or explosive sales growth?

8. Understand the Market.

Prospects interested in gaming machines are going to be less interested
in productivity software, and more interested in RAM. An e-commerce
professional is going to be less interested in case color, the
number of fans and neon lights; he’ll be more interested
in productivity software.

9. Use Product Images.

This is just common sense. Humans lust after what they can see more than what they can’t.

10. Immediate Action Required

Ever notice how close out sales attract crowds? One computer and electronics retailer caught on to this fact, and has started seeing more sales by placing a “Close Out Items” table next to the check out stands. Take a closer look and you’ll notice that a lot of the items on aren’t even close out or discontinued items. The price isn’t discounted either. But it hasn’t stopped consumers from buying off the Close Out table instead of off the shelf.

11. Guarantee

Destroy doubt before it has a chance to grow. Offer
a full money back guarantee. You prospect may still have doubts;
kill the doubts. Doubts are evil. A full, no questions asked money-back
guarantee does wonders for sales. No excuses – just do it.

12. Actionability

Too many advertisements do a superb job of stating the features – but entirely neglect to address actionability issues. If you want to sell, state the web address, 1-800 number and retail locations with mini-maps.


Discuss this article in the Webmaster Forums.

  1. Great overview about copywriting… 🙂

  2. Alex GoadAlex Goad02-05-2007

    Another article to refer to. Any chance of you doing a piece on copywriting for affiliates?

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